How To Stay Hydrated. Really Hydrated.

Drink more water

    When I spend a day with someone, I'm often surprised to see how few water they drink. Six hours somewhere for me means emptying my 1 litre sigg bottle, maybe also having a juice, tea or hot chocolate, and several visits to the ladies´. The person I am with usually drinks one coffee... and that's it.
     You've probably heard a lot already about how you should be drinking more water, basically every health and beauty magazine goes on and one about it. And you know, they are right. Staying hydrated is the single best thing you can do for your skin, hair and energy levels. (Not to mention that it's also the easiest and cheapest thing!) A hydrated girl just has that glow about them: the hair and skin stay more firm and fresh. Besides, drinking enough water keeps your brain alert!

    I wasn't always hydrated. During my pregnancy my midwife wanted to know how much water I was drinking daily, and I believe my reply was a sheepish 1,5 liter (I lied, it was more around 1 liter.) Much later, I found out I had a rather low blood pressure (hypothenia) and that not being hydrated made it drop more, which made me feel tired, sluggish, and sometimes dizzy. Also, I found I often had a headache when I hadn't drunk enough water. One of the headaches was really, really, really bad, so bad that I didn't want it to ever happen again. That night of pure pain motivated me to change.
     So I did a small experiment, I tried being super-hydrated for two days. I drank as much water as I comfortably could, just to give my body a baseline of hydration. The idea came from this article about sleep and dehydration, which says that "you'll never know how dehydrated you really unless you get super-hydrated". After the two days I just let my thirst dictate how much water I drank, but I was automatically drinking more than before the experiment. Today I am rarely without a water bottle (I have a ridiculous collection of Sigg bottles, ranging from teeny to huge). I also read somewhere that your concentration levels drop as soon as the hydration level drops. This was a huge motivator for me to drink more fluids, who doesn't want to be smart and alert!

So what stops people from being hydrated? How can you be more hydrated?

* Being more aware:
   I highly recommend doing the hydration experiment I just wrote about. Remember, you should not be forcing yourself to drink water, you should drink only as much as is comfortable. A couple of days should give you a feel of what it feels like to be well-hydrated.

* Make it pretty
   I use stuff more if I find ir pretty. Get a pretty glass carafe and drop mountain crystals and amethysts into it. Get pretty water bottles. You could also splurge on pretty drinking glasses, or even drink your H2O out of champagne glasses if you feel like it.

* Memory tips:
   A lot of people just forget to drink water. Here are some tips to remember:

  • Put a water bottle on your desk and aim to finish it by the end of the day.
  • Drink a glass of water before every tea or coffee you have.
  • Connect water with other activities you do throughout the day: first thing after waking up, a just before you leave the house, shower, gym etc.
  • Put the amount of glasses you want to drink in your planner or on a chart. Each time you drink a glass, cross one out.

* Get proper-sized glasses, not the wimpy thimble-sized ones.
   Easy way to trick your brain!
* Dealing with public toilet phobia:
   Many ladies don't like to drink a lot of water because they don't like using public restrooms. I totally get you, I find them disgusting and I find western-style toilets barbarically unhygienic (seriously, it took me years to make myself actually sit on one that wasn't in my house). Still, I think that the advantages of being hydrated outweigh the sacrifice of peeing in public restrooms. Another solution would be to drink most water during the times you are at home, especially first thing after you wake up and as soon as you get home.

* Don't like water?
    Unfortunately fizzy drinks can't replace water, and coffee only makes you dehydrated (since the body uses a lot of water to flush the caffeine out). But it's easy to make your water more palatable: a dash of fruit juice, kombucha, or herbal tea do wonders for the taste. Or put a lemon slice or fresh mint leaves into your carafe.

    What are your tips for staying hydrated? Or do you naturally love guzzling water? Do share.

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